I didn’t cook anything particularly interesting tonight so I thought perhaps for this post I would delve into the mini list I’ve been accumulating for days such as these.
I read an interesting article recently about the battle between Dole and independent organic farmers in South America.
Articles like these, while incovenient in the truths they reveal, remind me that besides the individual and vain reasons I have chosen to eat organic/local/fair trade foods, it is certainly the socially responsible thing to do.
Frankly, when I am buying organic anything I don’t trust the organically labeled produce that brands like Dole or Chiquita sell. I have very little trust that the foods I buy are actually organic, which is why I choose to shop at the co-op. I feel as though Bloomingfoods has much more at stake if they provide mislabeled food than a supermarket does.
Back to the point.
I read an article once that implored people, at the very least, to swap out one conventional grocery item for its organic counterpart. I think for someone who doesn’t have the means or access to buy organic foods, this is a really easy way to feel good about what you’re buying. How would you choose which grocery item to swap?
If you’re like me, you would choose one that gives you the most bang for your buck. That, however, takes more number crunching than you may expect. Another strategy is to consult this list. The Environmental Working Group tested various foods (using the USDA’s methods) to find which foods have the highest, and lowest, pesticide ratings. Perhaps choosing a food from this list could improve your health – and your conscience.
One effect I never would have expected from eating organic is how aware I have become of the food I eat. I feel as though I am part of a larger community. Big name brands I used to spend ridiculous amounts of money on just seem…impure, now that I have been trying to eat sustainably. I’m not going to lie. This is hard work. It’s difficult to know that I am spending twice as much on some foods (like milk) than I would if I were buying it from the gas station. However, I come from a family rife with small business owners. When I think about the way I am supporting a local or small farm, it helps justify my choices.
Sometime’s it’s crazy to me that food means so much to so many people. Being a former collegiate runner, I come from a background where food can be your biggest enemy and your best friend. I know what it’s like to have an unhealthy obsession and an unhealthy loathing of what I put in my body. Food is really at the root ofeverything -family, friends, love, happiness, sadness, lesiure. For something so important, why not treat yourself to the very best? For me, it’s become one little thing I can control in my crazy life which actually makes a huge impact on how I feel as a person – emotionally, socially, and phsycially.